Tag Archives: cars

Do yourself a favour – do someone else a favour

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“As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.”

– Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

I’ve mentioned karma before when I was discussing what happened to me on my Easy Jet flight a few weeks ago.  After what happened at the weekend, I’m absolutely 100% convinced that it exists.

My Mum is visiting at the moment so we decided to go out for the day on Saturday.  We made our way to the beautiful village of Castril in the Province of Granada.  Though it’s (sadly) not the main focus of the post, it is so beautiful there, I had to share some pictures:

    

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Breathtaking scenery and some tapas along the way – what could be better?

Anyway, on with the story:  After our lovely walk around the village and a stop for lunch, we decided to make our way back.  Stupidly I let Mum navigate and somehow we ended up on a single track in amongst some seemingly deserted olive and almond groves.  We took it slowly and were enjoying taking in the amazing countryside.  All of a sudden, a little old spanish man can careering out of one of the said groves shouting and waving his arms around like a madman.  Our initial thought was that we were trespassing so we stopped and put our best innocent foreigner faces on.

It transpired that although it wasn’t clear whether we were trespassing or not, he was much more concerned by the flat tyre he’d just acquired.  The poor old bugger had one of those old Renault vans that seem to be de rigueur over here along with a brace and jack set that was probably older than me.  He’d obviously been struggling along on his own for some time judging by his sweating and wheezing as he told me all about the stone he’d run over in order to get the flat in the 1st place.  Add that to the sandy ground he’d parked up on and the fact the jack was sinking into the ground rather than lifting the van up and he was getting nowhere fast.  Now I know I’ve explained several times that I’m not a car person, but I can actually change a tyre and know how to use all the equipment and everything – I usually just choose not to.  In these special circumstances though I had to help.  I told him to stop using his wheel brace which wasn’t actually gripping the wheel nuts – just making a scraping noise and spinning round and set about getting mine out of the car.  I got a flat stone from round one of the trees and put it under my superior jack and set about helping him.  We had a bit of trouble with a few of the wheel nuts and inevitably ended up stamping on the brace to get them moving but we got the old and very flat tyre off in a jiffy.  I was slightly concerned by the state of the spare, but at least it would see him out of his in-the-middle-of-nowhere field and home safe and sound.  New slightly dodgy tyre on and a gap-toothed smiling Spaniard waving us off, we made our merry way back to the main road.

Feeling very pleased with myself and feeling that we needed some sort of reward for all our good deeds, I decided not to go straight home but to head into our nearest town to order a well deserved take away.  2 hours of fairly high speed driving and we arrived outside the one and only curry house in the vague vicinity.  I parked up, we got out and it was then that Mum happened to glance back at the car.  You’ll never guess… or maybe you will.. we had a flat tyre!  It must have gone just as I parked because it was flat as a pancake and there was no way on God’s earth I would have been able to drive it very far in that condition.  Bugger!  Ah well, I’d already changed one tyre today – what difference would another make?

I had to move the car since the flat was against the pavement so I drove very gingerly into a side street and set about getting the spare out of the boot.  I set up my jack and started undoing the wheel nuts.  I almost managed it, but got stuck with the last one.  Lots of huffing, puffing and swearing ensued.  I tried everything – different starting positions for the brace, kicking the brace, kicking the wheel, literally jumping on the brace to get it to move.  Still nothing.  Just when I thought I was going to have to call home and admit that I was too much of a girl to change my own tyre (I was quite secure in the knowledge that my earlier tyre changing experience would not have swayed the judgement) an old man who’d been sitting outside a tapas bar watching me shuffled over to offer his assistance.  Cue a bit more huffing and puffing.  Eventually the stubborn nut wound free and we jacked the car up further to get the new wheel on.  Phew.

Luckily the curry was also ready and since I’d ordered and the run off to change the tyre, Mum was left to pay for it!  Shame!  He he he.

So there you have it.  The moral of the story is “always do someone a favour, you never know when you’ll need one yourself.” (and you might get a free curry thrown in for good measure too!) 🙂

Girls don’t do cars

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Now I know all the feminists out there will disagree.  Listen, I can change a tyre, check the oil, change light bulbs, I even fitted a new bumper once.  What  I discovered today though is that I definitely cannot bump start a car by myself.  Trust me; I learnt the hard way!

So this morning the car wouldn’t start.  This has happened a few times recently so I wasn’t unduly worried.  We live on a hill and it’s easy enough to bump started once you get the car going.  Since my husband hadn’t had a good night’s sleep (apparently someone snoring… not sure who that was.. eh hem), I thought I’d do the decent thing and leave him to snooze.  I’m a big girl – how difficult can it be to bump start a car on your own?  I’ve done it before; easy peasy…. Or so I thought.

I managed to roll the car off the driveway on to the unadopted road we live on.  I even managed to get it pointing the right way.  I was really pleased with myself.  So I start pushing it down the road with the intention of getting it to the point where the hill starts, jumping in and hey presto – bump starting the car.  Doesn’t sound so difficult and I’ve watched my husband do it numerous times.

What I forgot to add into my “how hard can it be” calculations was that I am one of the most malcoordinated people I know. So there I am pushing the car to the brink of the hill and attempting to jump in.  Unfortunately, I’d pushed it a bit too far down the road so the car started gathering speed and I still hadn’t jumped in.  I tried, I promise I really tried to jump in but being the moron that I am, it didn’t go according to plan.  No.  Not at all.  Instead of the smooth entry I was hoping for, my foot got stuck under the pedals at the wrong angle meaning that I couldn’t haul myself in in the way I wanted.  I was left trying to run with the car on one leg.  Speed hopping whilst trying to steer a runaway car is apparently not my forte.  As the car gathered speed my speed hopping faltered and turned in to just being speedily dragged down the road for a couple of hundred yards instead.  “This is it,” I thought, “I’m going to die.”

Now people say that when they have a near death experience their whole life rushes before their eyes and they see bright lights.  I can confirm that it is not true.  What actually happens is that you think “if this doesn’t kill me, my husband will when I get in,” and “I wonder whether the council will mind if I plough through their Cyprus trees?”

Whilst contemplating how to tell me husband that not only have I totaled the car, I have lost a leg in the process I had an epiphany.  The handbrake!  So, whilst still trying to speed hop and steer the car I yanked the handbrake on and hoped the road plateauing would do the rest.  Thankfully I came to a clumsy stop outside a neighbour’s house, albeit at a strange angle, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  There was pain screaming up my hopping leg, but I was still alive.

Much to my embarrassment, my ordeal had not gone unnoticed.  No, I’d come to a stop right outside some building work where my 5 foot nothing Brummie friend came careering out of the driveway, effing and jeffing and asking what in the hell I thought I was doing.  She thought I’d possibly had some sort of fit and fallen out of the car.  When I explained I was trying to bump start the car she fell about laughing.  Once she’d picked herself back up of the floor, she got out her jump leads and asked whether they might have been a safer option.  I couldn’t have been more grateful!

So, with the car now started I went off to run my errands.  I refused to look at my leg which was now agony since I thought that if I stopped to look I might not make it back to the house.

Finally I made it home.  All my plans of not waking my husband up went by the wayside as, with my bottom lip wobbling, I told him of my “little accident.”  He was not amused.  The anger soon dissipated though when I took my trousers and sock off to inspect my leg.  I had some nasty looking grazes on my knee and down my shin.  I also managed to lose some of my toenail and possibly the tip of my big toe.  I’m hoping he’ll ignore the fact I was wearing his sports socks and crocs at the time!

So there we have it.  The embarrassing story of why girls (well, this girl at least) shouldn’t do cars.  Next time… well let’s face it, there won’t be another time – I’ll get someone else to do it!

Happy motoring everyone!